Yesterday’s Publicola revelation that anti-gun billionaire Michael Bloomberg has personally contributed another $285,000 to pass Initiative 594 in Washington state suggests that the former New York mayor will stop at nothing to push his brand of restrictive gun control into law across the country, worried activists suggest.
Adding up the contributions to I-594 – the 18-page gun control measure that appears likely to pass next Tuesday – from Everytown for Gun Safety and Mayors Against Illegal Guns, both Bloomberg-funded gun prohibition lobbying groups, this brings the total of his largesse to more than $2.6 million. That’s roughly one-fourth of the entire$10.1 million raised to pass I-594, and Bloomberg doesn’t even live in Washington. The election is one week from today. (An earlier version of this story had a higher estimate.)
Bloomberg’s concept of gun control is already spreading. Published reports say his Everytown group is also bankrolling a similar initiative effort in Nevada. If I-594 passes, watch for Bloomberg’s financial juggernaut to cross the Columbia River into Oregon, and he may also start spilling money in other states by 2016.
And what is Bloomberg’s vision of the Second Amendment? Critics say it is best illustrated by New York’s SAFE (Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement) Act of 2013. When anti-gun New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo became fearful that passage of the SAFE Act could jeopardize his re-election plans this year, he quickly blamed the Bloomberg machine for producing most of the law’s language.
The SAFE Act, according to the Las Vegas Review Journal, is already being abused to allow the confiscation of firearms without due process. That brings us to a tenet of Initiative 591, which is also on the ballot in Washington. I-591, if passed, will prohibit government gun confiscation without due process, a provision that critics dismiss as unnecessary, perhaps because they refuse to acknowledge that under their sugar-daddy’s Empire State legislation, such gun grabs are already happening.
According to the Review Journal’s August article, the SAFE Act suffers from “overreach and lack of oversight.” The newspaper tells the story of David Lewis, 35, whose firearms were ordered to be surrendered because some time ago, he had been given a prescription for anti-anxiety medication. How many people have ever been given a prescription for anxiety, or depression, over something like the loss of a parent or spouse?
Many people see Bloomberg as a super-wealthy demagogue who believes he can use his riches to buy his vision of America. From trying to dictate diet and limit the size of a soda, to helping wealthy Seattle-area elitists and local billionaires including Nick Hanauer, Bill Gates, Steve Ballmer and Paul Allen, Bloomberg’s financial fingerprints have been showing up with alarming regularity across the political landscape.
He spent $350,000 in a failed attempt to save two anti-gun Colorado state senators from recall last year. He’s dumped money into other political races. He launched the $50 million Everytown lobbying group with an eye on overwhelming opposition to his gun control agenda, which is happening right now in the Evergreen State. I-591 proponents have raised about $1.2 million. Even with the money the National Rifle Association has reportedly spent to fight I-594, it still comes to less than 20 percent of what the billionaires are spending to buy the privacy rights of Washington gun owners.
The question remains: Will Bloomberg’s brand of restrictive gun control – essentially treating the Second Amendment as a heavily-regulated government-granted privilege – become the law of the land? Can a New York billionaire and his Northwest contemporaries successfully buy the ability to dictate how millions of less-moneyed citizens live their lives and conduct their affairs?
This fight isn’t just about so-called “universal background checks” to keep guns out of the wrong hands, many gun rights activists are now convinced. Many contend it’s shaping up as the first stage of a long-term effort to take guns out of everyone’s hands, except perhaps for the private security details that billionaires can hire to keep them safe from the masses.
Bloomberg has already demonstrated that he’s willing to dictate such trivial things as soft drinks. If he is able to finance the erosion of a fundamental civil right protected by the Second Amendment, one wonders what’s next?